Military waiver

bally21

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I realize most people here have severe epilepsy under control with meds, but I am wondering if any has or knows someone who has successfully navigated an epilepsy waiver for the military. MEPs rules state the person must be 5 years seizure/med free, with a current normal EEG, but I am thinking even that is probably not enough. All I have ever heard about is people sneaking in. Please! If anyone has had experience please let me know!
 

Birdbomb

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Welcome Bally21

Allow me to introduce myself or rather a bit of my history. My husband served in the USAF for over 20 years. He did a tour in Viet Nam in 1968 and was stationed in Libya North Africa during the 6 day war. He loved his military career. Our son also wanted to join the Air Force but has asthma and was denied. This was a crushing blow as he had planned his life around this desire.

In times of combat, ANYONE in the military can be called upon to bare arms and they must be able bodied. Can you imagine what would have happened to a squadron hiding in the jungle if a soldier suddenly has a TC?

I do understand your desire but I also understand the reason why the military is restrictive. I worked directly with the troops going to Iraq a few years ago. All those reservists! I had my concerns about "weekend warriors" being sent to do the job of trained soldiers and it was not unfounded. Those guys had changed personalities, they were not the same. They did not have the same mindset as active duty and it apparent after their tours.

You may have the desire and mindset needed for active duty, but your body has betrayed you. There is one branch of service that is not so restrictive, Coast Guard. But I honestly don't think you should pursue a military career. Maybe get a government job and work on base like I did. That in itself is quite fulfilling. My :twocents: or just ignore me.
 

bally21

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Maybe. But I'd be interested in pretty much a desk job in the AF, not running around in a desert with a rifle. I realize at times of war all military personnel can be called upon to bear arms but infantry is not the mission of the AF. Am I wrong in thinking that being five years seizure and medicine free with a normal EEG is rare for an epileptic? I mean why even have the exception clause in the first place. I am considering your advice but it is the same advice I have seen EVERYWHERE. I don't want to give up before even trying. All I am wondering is if there have been successful exceptions to the rule.

Oh and asthma can be waived a lot easier than epilepsy can. In 2004, 51% of asthma waivers were granted in the Army, 58% in Navy, 67% Marines, 29% AF.
 
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Birdbomb

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AF may serve the back lines but they still go to "hot spots"
As for my 5 year hiatus, I have no answers....yet, wont have my first neuro appointment until the 22nd.

Talk to recruiters? Go over their heads is you have to. I will be interested in your results.
 

bally21

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As am I! If I can actually get this thing cleared, you can bet for sure I will be doing everything I can to help others in my situation.
 
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When I first decide to join the military, I wanted to join the air force. But it turned out, they are the hardest branch to get into. I had taken an anti anxiety drug for about three months, over a year before I decided I wanted to join. And because of that (after months of waiting) the AF would not give me a waiver to join. The navy took about a week to give me the waiver, and I enlisted, and have never regreted it. Unfortunately, after coming back from deployment, I started having grand mal seizures. Not a lot, it has been 3 definate in less than a year. But because of it, I am not going to be able to reenlist. My military career is basically over. As of now, they are letting me stay until the end of my contract. I hear that this is usually not the case. If someone develops E, they go on limited duty, and are then discharged. Of course, I am not the definite answer, I am still looking for answers myself. But if after all the training I have gone through, they would kick me out because of a few seizures, I don't think they will let someone with no training in. I wish you the best of luck, and if you find out anything, I would love to hear it, because I hate to end my career because of this.
 

bally21

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Yeah you are right. The more I read about it the 'E' word is an automatic PDQ. I think the five year rule is for a single isolated incident. They are looking to have a fully deployable force and with the economy the way it is they pretty much have a surplus of healthy people... or liars.

I'm going to get an EEG soon as I can to see if it comes back normal. I have a feeling that my seizures were caused by the concerta I was taking as a child. surprise surprise I don't have adhd, its just behavioral and doctors misdiagnosed that one too... I'm really really hoping I can convince a neurologist to rediagnose my epilepsy as drug-induced if the EEG comes back as normal, which would be different than the several abnormal EEGs taken previously.
 
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Inaara

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When I first decide to join the military, I wanted to join the air force. But it turned out, they are the hardest branch to get into.
Actually, that would be the Coast Guard ;) I had the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps fighting over me but the Coast Guard (which I actually wanted to join) was less than enthusiastic, despite my recommendation letters from high-ranking officers & enlisted in several military branches. I ended up going Army after my brother threatened my life if I went Air Force.

Truth is, Bally21, right now is a bad time to try and get around or through the waiver system. All branches are meeting or exceeding their recruitment targets currently (or as recently as 3 months ago). That's not to say that it is not possible to secure a waiver, but it will be difficult given the fact that recruitment targets have recently been lowered and some branches are not even issuing waivers anymore because there is an overabundance of applicants who do not require waivers who are still being turned away. If it is something you truly want, then I absolutely encourage you to go for it and do not be discouraged! But understand that you will have to work your butt off to fight the system, understanding that for every regulation the military has, there is generally a regulation that allows an exception or a way around it (a "loophole," so to speak). The trick is finding the way around it. ;)
 
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